SPAM texts and unwanted calls are an almost unavoidable nuisance of modern communication. Often generated by automatic software robots, they seem to be constantly increasing in numbers.
Not only these are time-wasting, but they can also present a serious security concern. While some unsolicited texts and calls are legitimate promotions of products or services, many are actually sent by scammers!
To be safe:
- Hang up an unsolicited call as soon as you recognize it as such and do not call back the number it originated from.
- Do not reply to SPAM text messages and never click or open any links they contain as these can try to install malicious software on your device or provide the sender with some information about you that will just lead to more SPAM.
- Block the number instead of opting out! While legitimate marketers are supposed to include opt-out instructions in their text messages, you just have no way of knowing if the sender is legitimate or not. A scammer may actually try to trick you to click a link or confirm your number with opt-out instructions. Therefore, again, do not reply or open any links. Block the number instead.
The FCC has some helpful resources for dealing with the problem, but the best option is to simply block any numbers where you received unwanted calls or texts from. Blocking texts can be done directly from the Windows version of the TeleConsole while blocking calls is only available at the moment from the Admin Portal.
Blocking and Unblocking Text Messages (SMS/MMS)
To block a number from receiving text messages, open the message containing the unwanted contact, click at the top-right to display additional options, and select . Click BLOCK when prompted to add the name or number of a person you are conversing with to the blocked numbers list. Messages from blocked numbers will be automatically rejected, but the senders will still be able to call you.
If a number is already blocked you will see the option to or you can remove it from the blocked numbers list in the Messages Settings where you can click MANAGE BLOCKED NUMBERS to open a list of blocked numbers for each SMS channel (a channel will show on the list only if it has blocked numbers.) Click next to a contact name or number to remove him from the list.
Note that your selection of a default SMS line also affects the content of conversations. Only messages delivered to the selected line will be shown at any! If you can't see messages from a particular number but it is not blocked, try selecting a different SMS line.
Blocking calls is not presently available from the TeleConsole, but you can do so with a Filtered Forwarding function which is accessed and set up in the Admin Portal. This is usually handled by your phone system or IT administrator.
With Filtered Forwarding (also known as Caller ID Forwarding) you can have calls forwarded only from specific phone numbers, prefixes, area codes, or even countries. You will use this to forward unwanted calls to a SPAM mailbox or automatically hang up calls.
Some of the phones we sell and support also have a feature to automatically block incoming calls. On Yealink phones (see relevant user guides here and here) this feature is called Blocklist Directory and on Poly phones (see relevant user guides here) it is called Auto Reject.
To set up Filtered Forwarding:
- In the Admin Portal select Features>Feature codes from the side menu.
- Find and click the feature code for the phone line you are setting Filtered Forwarding for.
- Scroll to the bottom of the selected feature code page to find Caller routes: and click Add a caller route >>.
- Enter the phone number or caller ID that you want to block calls from in the Caller number prefix: field.
You can only enter one number here (there is no option for comma-separated values.) For additional phone numbers simply add additional caller routes!
You can enter the whole number to create an exact match or any length of a start of a number. For example, enter a whole number except the last three digits to block all numbers from a specific company rather than an individual in that company. You can even block all calls from specific area codes or countries (for the latter enter + before the country code. For example +47.)
You can describe the blocked number in the Description field. This is optional.
- From the Forward matching calls to: drop-down menu select a destination or function for the forwarded call. There are fifty-nine possible forwarding destinations and functions you can choose from.
Functions that may be very useful for blocking unwanted calls are Hang up call or Busy tone. You can also consider creating a company voicemail for unwanted calls and directing calls there. The advantage of the latter is that it can slow down the unwanted callers, especially if you include some lengthy greeting or music before prompting the caller to leave a message. You would just have to clear this mailbox occasionally.
- Click Save to add the caller route. Routing takes effect immediately.
- If you no longer want to forward calls for any ID simply delete it from the list of Caller routes.